5 Common Misconceptions Among Gardeners

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:04 pm

RCW wears out the soil
Vegetable mulch attracts slugs
Digging up the garden aerates the soil
Bleach makes leeks healthier
Slug pellets made from iron phosphate are natural and therefore safe
RCW (Rameal fragmented wood) wears down the soil
RCW is made with fresh, living wood that is ground up and used as mulch. If you use fresh wood, you enrich the soil because it is full of sap, of sugar, which is very invigorating for the underground life.

On the other hand, if you use dry wood mulch, the micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi) are busy degrading it by consuming the nitrogen in the soil, which is then no longer available for the crops. This is called nitrogen starvation.

5 Common Misconceptions Among Gardeners

Plant mulch attracts slugs

Under the mulch, slugs find cool shelter from the sun, shelter from the wind, and a place to hide from birds, so yes, slugs do tend to take refuge under plant mulch. But don’t let that stop you from mulching because it’s good for the soil and good for the plants. When the first generation of slugs arrives, don’t touch anything. After three weeks, you will see beetles arrive. These are beetles that come to take shelter but also eat the slugs. In the meantime, you can put a little ferric phosphate slug pellet (no beer traps because they also attract beetles).

Digging the garden aerates the soil

If your soil is a bit compact and clayey, digging it up will indeed aerate it, but it will become compacted as soon as you work it again. On the other hand, if you do surface composting, and let the earthworms work (they will make galleries in all directions), the soil will be naturally aerated, and for a long time. Air, water and roots will be able to circulate freely.

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Bleach makes leeks healthier

For a few years, 3 or 4 years for the north of the Loire, a little more for the south, the leek fly has been coming to lay eggs in the plants. In winter, a red pupa develops in the barrels that lie down. To get rid of it, some gardeners treat the affected leeks with bleach. This serves no purpose except to pollute the soil.

Iron phosphate-based slug pest control is natural and therefore safe

Iron phosphate slug pest control is the most popular slug pest control product today because it is sold as less toxic than older slug pest control products. It is often thought that it is not dangerous because it is a natural product. This is true, but in high doses it can be dangerous. It is necessary to know how to respect the recommended doses: a few granules here and there are enough to protect the plants. They act as appetite suppressants that prevent slugs from feeding. Some gardeners knowingly increase the quantities because birds also eat them; it is not toxic for them, but high concentrations are for the soil. Rather than overdosing, place your slug pellets under tiles or in pipe stubs.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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